Six Great Cigars for the Road
I absolutely love lighting up a good cigar when I get behind the wheel. To me it’s like having a best friend joining me along for the ride. Now, I realize not everyone who smokes cigars chooses to smoke in their car and it’s understandable. Guys with wives and kids don’t want to have their machine ensconced with the luscious scent of aged sweet tobacco goodness, or as my wife refers to it as “that wretched stink”. (And before we go any further, you’ll really want to check out my brilliant article from December 2014, entitled: How to Un-Stink Your Car From Cigars)
I really don’t know why, but I never seem to just pick out any old cigar, I always have a reason. Call it Polish OCD or whatever you please but I do give great thought to most of my smoking choices, and especially when I get behind the wheel of my car. There are a couple of key factors that help the decision process and I think they make a lot of sense. Hope you think so too.
The first thing I consider is: How long is my road trip, timewise. So, I’ve broken it into two categories: An hour and under, or, An hour or more. Anything under an hour is a shorter smoke for me, a robusto size or less. Anything over an hour is a larger smoke that I can really take my time with and enjoy – especially on a nice day with the windows down. And while I’m more of a hard rocking metal head, Tom Petty’s “Runnin’ Down a Dream” is a hell of a great driving-with-a-cigar tune… well, so is Slayer’s “Reign in Blood” but head banging with a lit stogie tends to be a messy endeavor.
The 2nd category is: Time of Day. My reasoning is simple… If it’s first thing in the morning, I go with a mild to medium-bodied stick to pair with my coffee. Like most smokers, a heavy, dark, Nicaraguan nicotine bomb might have me swerving from lane to lane on Route 80. I really have no desire to explain to a state cop that I’m loopy from my Liga. If it’s lunch time or early afternoon, I’ll choose medium to medium-full. By that time, my palate has been introduced to food and drink and it can handle a cigar with a little more pop and a deeper flavor profile. Then there’s 5pm and on - or after dinner. By then I’m ready for that full-bodied beast, loaded with rich and deep, dark complex flavors.
The following is a list of six tasty smokes that I happen to enjoy, and I’ve broken them into the categories I’ve mentioned above. While I’m not known for being the anally retentive type, this might seem a tad structured for some who like to smoke by the seat of their pants, but it works for me and I just felt like sharing.
Drive Time: An Hour & Under . Time of Day: Morning
Perdomo Small Batch Connecticut: Half Corona . 5 x 54 . Medium
How many times have I said: Nick Perdomo makes great cigars? Honestly, I’ve lost track. Now, the Small Batch is a very flavorful, creamy smoke that is just perfect for your breakfast pleasure. Nutty, woody and toasty on the palate, this baby will get you there and back with a whole lotta pleasure.
Drive Time: An Hour & Under . Time of Day: Mid-Day
Undercrown Shade: Corona . Viva . 5 5/8 x 46 . Medium
The people at Drew Estate made a great decision to allow Will Herrera to take the Undercrown and wrap a silky Connecticut Shade leaf around it. Lots and lots of flavor here with notes of cedar and coffee. A great mid-day choice – not too strong but a ton of tasty tobacco goodness.
Drive Time: An Hour & Under . Time of Day: Evening
Tatuaje Black: Petite Robusto . 4 x 50 . Full
So you’ve got yourself a short drive but you want some serious oomph to pound your palate. Well, get yourself ready because the Tatuaje Black is here to whack. The complex flavor profile of black licorice, earth and leather will cut through anything you previously ate or drank and will completely satisfy your need for a nice post-meal dessert. What a stick.
Drive Time: An Hour or More . Time of Day: Morning
Montecristo Relentless: Churchill . 7 x 56 . Mild to Medium
Montecristos are world renown for their gorgeous golden Connecticut wrappers and the Relentless is just that when it comes to the flavor department. This stick has a wonderful natural sweetness and will certainly please the early morning palate. I’d rock this with a tasty coffee and a Boston crème doughnut while traveling around with a smile on my face.
Drive Time: An Hour or More . Time of Day: Mid-Day
Oliva Baptiste: Presidente . 7 x 52 . Medium
The name Oliva means premium cigar tobacco that’s 2nd to none, and the Baptiste is loaded with a ton of complex flavors for a medium-bodied smoke. Notes of cocoa, espresso and cedar lace your taste buds and it’s actually hard to put down. This one has become a new fave of mine and it’s just perfect for the mid-day, longer haul on the roadways.
Drive Time: An Hour or More . Time of Day: Evening
Camacho American Barrel Aged: Gordo . 6 x 60 . Full
When we use the term “flavor-bomb”, we really mean it when it comes to this beefy Camacho. The brawny 6 x 60 is going to travel well on your lengthy excursion while delivering an absolute ton of full-bodied flavor. That dark and oily barrel aged wrapper is just so sweet with notes of rich black coffee and dark black cherry. This is the dessert you crave after dinner. Outstanding.
So there you go, the proverbial road map of great cigars to fire up in the car. Let’s hear some of your comments below on the cigars you love to light up while you’re driving.
Tommy Zman, is an obsessive enjoyer of life’s leafy pleasures. Growing up in the bowels of northern New Jersey, parented by an eccentric Polish father and a neurotic Italian mother, what else could this man possibly be other than a humorist? ZMan’s a real throwback to a time when men were kings of the castle and smoking a cigar in public didn’t label you an outcast and a pariah. He’s an old–school down to earth guy - but when it comes to p.c. tyranny and nanny-state legislature, he’ll draw his sword and swing for the fences. Tommy gathered a faithful following as a longtime feature writer at Cigar Magazine, and his testosterone laden FaceBook community, CROMAG NATION™ is truly the last great bastion for Men’s Men.Show all Tommy Zman Zarzecki's Articles